Some things to read while the 8-year-olds let you have it.
The Brewers had what might be the quietest possible postseason off day yesterday, as they prepared for their first opportunity to secure an NLCS berth tonight.
Josh Collmenter will take the mound for Arizona tonight (bumped up a day in place of Joe Saunders), and he's pitched 14 scoreless innings against the Brewers this season. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker, however, notes that hitters tend to figure him out in their third game against him. David Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics noted some similiarites between Collmenter and his opponent tonight, Shaun Marcum.
After yesterday's workout the Diamondbacks held a closed-door team meeting to discuss what they need to do to right the ship. AZ Snake Pit has a look at the Diamondbacks' chances of digging out of this deficit, and notes that roughly two thirds of teams that fall behind 0-2 in a Division Series end up getting swept. Mark Townsend of Big League Stew has a look at what the Diamondbacks would need to do to force a Game 5 on Friday. Since MLB went to the current playoff format, teams that take a 2-0 lead in the NLDS have won the series in all 19 occasions.
While we've gotten used to seeing a certain level of excitement surrounding the Brewers over the last couple of months, that enthusiasm doesn't appear to have been mirrored in Arizona. Tonight's game is still unlikely to sell out and Trenni Kusnierek reports that at least one talk radio show in Phoenix is intentionally avoiding discussing this series.
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com has a story today on Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, who have combined for nine hits in the first two games of this series. Yesterday Braun was also announced as the Brewers' nominee for the Hank Aaron Award, presented annually to the most outstanding hitter in each league. As you might expect, all three contributors at View From Bernie's Chalet are picking Braun to win NL MVP.
Fielder, meanwhile, may be booed at Chase Field again tonight for failing to pick Diamondbacks slugger Justin Upton for the Home Run Derby. He told Adam McCalvy he's not worried about it.
I thought this was somewhat curious: Sunday in Milwaukee was a beautiful fall day with temps in the 60's, but the Miller Park roof was closed. Yesterday was a 100 degree day in Phoenix (it's a dry heat but still, 100 is 100), and the roof was open for the teams' workout at Chase Field. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com snapped a picture.
It's probably not a coincidence that the Brewers have had two solid offensive performances in the postseason and have given no important at bats to Casey McGehee. Miller Park Drunk, however, says fans were in the wrong when they booed McGehee during a pinch hit appearance Sunday. Meanwhile, Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar states the somewhat obvious: Ron Roenicke has been making the right move by playing Jerry Hairston Jr in McGehee's place.
Miller Park Drunk, by the way, is giving away some cool stuff as part of a caption contest. Go check it out.
By the way, this Flip Flop Fly Ball graphic at Grantland is incredible, and includes this note: There are only four players who made postseason rosters this season on a team that claimed them off waivers. Three of them are Brewers, including McGehee.
Corey Hart has two hits this postseason and has scored a pair of runs: Lori Nickel of the JS talked to him about changes in his game over the years and his workout strategy.
Hey look, more stuff on Tony Plush! Colin Fly and Jordan Bastian profiled him yesterday, and he'll be on Jim Rome's radio show today at noon.
Looking back at the last couple of games:
- Jack Moore of FanGraphs points to Zack Greinke's pickoff of Ryan Roberts as an underappreciated play from Sunday.
- Takashi Saito is only the third Japanese pitcher in major league history to win a playoff game, and the first reliever.
- Dave Brown of Yahoo says Yovani Gallardo had the postseason's most impressive pitching performance to date.
- Brewers in 11 went frame-by-frame to recap Brad Zieglar's bad day on Sunday.
- Baseball America listed Tyler Thornburg (#14) as the lone Brewer on their list of the top 20 prospects in the Florida State League.
Marc Hulet of FanGraphs discussed Mark Rogers as part of a post on disappointing NL Central prospects.
This is disappointing but hardly unexpected: TV ratings show that over twice as many fans watched Sunday's blowout Packer game instead of a Brewer playoff game. Jason Brannon of Baseball Nation wants to know what's wrong with Wisconsin. With that said, about four times as many people watched the game in Wisconsin as compared to Arizona.
There's no Packer game tonight, so there's no excuse for missing what could be a historic moment for the Brewers. If you're looking for a place to watch the game with fellow BCB'ers, this thread is a good place to start. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are hosting a Bang for Your Buck postseason watch party.
It's never too late for the season's final power ranking: FanGraphs has the Brewers holding steady at five.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. Voting will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow. Also, don't forget to get your Prognostikeggers predictions in before tonight's game.
There's a full slate of playoff games on the schedule for tonight, including three possible elimination contests. For a recap of yesterday's action and a preview of tonight's, check out this morning's edition of Around the MLB Playoffs.
Joe West will be behind home plate for Game 3 tonight, but that might not be as bad as we'd previously thought: The Common Man of The Platoon Advantage notes that West's behavior has been dramatically improved since he and Angel Hernandez were moved onto separate crews earlier this season. Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk says West got the message.
As always, I just can't help myself...I had to go see today's Playoff Pun Update at Lookout Landing.
Also, it's good to know that I wasn't the only one who immediately thought of Right Said Fred when the announcers discussed the catwalks at Tropicana Field last night.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers the final game of the 1891 American Assocation Milwaukee Brewers. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also notes that it's been 1000 days since the Brewers signed Trevor Hoffman and marks the anniversaries of the final major league games of Darrell Porter (1987) and Mark Loretta (2009).
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to mark my page.